Delta Tunnels Testimonies Contradict District Officials’ Public Comments (Backgrounder)

For Immediate Release: July 5, 2017
Nora Kovaleski, 408-806-6470,
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta, 209-479-2053,

SWB Delta Tunnels Testimonies Contradict District Officials’ Public Comments (Backgrounder)
Stockton, CA — June 21, 2017, Kern County Water Agency President Ted Page stated at the Buena Vista Water Storage District meeting that Kern County Water Agency anticipated receiving 1 million additional acre feet of water on average annually with the Delta tunnels project.
At the Bay-Delta Committee meeting for Metropolitan Water District in May, Metropolitan staff informed board members that their member water districts will be paying for their share of Delta tunnels funding through water sales to consumers.
These public statements stand in contradiction to direct testimony made under oath by witnesses testifying on behalf of the California Department of Water Resources and the Bureau of Reclamation at permit hearings at the State Water Resources Control Board.
“On average, the annual amount of water diverted and stored by the SWP/CVP, as a result of CWF with the Initial Operational Criteria indicates that the combined SWP/CVP average annual combined diversions may be the same as the no action alternative or may increase up to approximately 500 thousand acre feet (TAF)….CWF would enhance our ability to divert and store water during periods of high excess Delta flows at a location where there is less risk to native fish and fewer effects to Delta water quality. The water supply developed during these periods may be offset in part by reduced pumping at other periods of less favorable hydrology.”

Testimony of John Leahigh, State Water Project operator, Exhibit DWR-61, p. 19:16-20, 23-26.

“The majority of project water service deliveries of the SWP and CVP are to contractors south of the Delta. Annual south of Delta SWP and CVP demands exceed 6 million acre-feet. However, full delivery to these contractors has rarely been provided historically, and under the current regulatory assumptions in the [No Action Alternative] full contract delivery will be increasingly unlikely. Figure 10 shows the simulated combined SWP and CVP deliveries to south of Delta water service contractors. (Exhibit DWR-514, p. 13.) As shown in the future, deliveries to these contractors are highly sensitive to operational and regulatory assumptions. Simulated long-term average reveries range from 1,100,000 acre-feet higher (a 34 percent increase) under the Boundary 1 scenario to 1,100,000 acre-feet lower (a 33 percent decrease) under the Boundary scenario compared to the [No Action Alternative]. For all year types scenarios H3 and H4 fall between Boundary 1 and Boundary 2 scenarios.”

Testimony of Armin Munevar, modeler, CH2M Hill, Exhibit DWR-71, p. 17:22-28, 18:1-5.

Munevar’s testimony summarizes the Long-term (LT) average from the chart data below. Note that by “demands” Munevar is probably referring to contract amounts or in the SWP’s case, “Table A” amounts.

Questions and Comments
Given the estimated range in water delivery amounts identified in sworn testimony by water modeling experts for the State, how can Kern County Agency officials tell officials at other water storage districts that Kern anticipates receiving on average 1 million acre-feet of additional water annually with operation of CA WaterFix? Moreover, considering the anticipated range of water availability for export via the Delta tunnels, how can Metropolitan Water District create a viable financial plan to share with its member agencies in order to make a rational decision as to whether to support CA WaterFix?
Restore the Delta’s executive director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla said, “If each of the four major water contractors supporting CA WaterFix (Kern County Water Agency, Westlands Water District, Metropolitan Water District, and Santa Clara Valley Water District) is signaling to their members and potential bond funders that they are going to receive large water deliveries in order to secure votes or funding for a project that will not deliver such volumes, then they are simply being dishonest. California water ratepayers and taxpayers need to demand from their water districts and the Brown Administration a true and complete cost benefit analysis for CA WaterFix and a financial plan before they are left on the hook to pay billions of dollars for a project that will not deliver additional water supplies in a changing climate.”

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